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Newsletter No.094 Germany Tour part 4, New GL

Newsletter Number 94
8th December 2005


Welcome to the latest newsletter.  In this edition we have part four of the Germany tour, news on yet another Mercedes-Benz model, and our usual line up of articles for you. We would also like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a very Prosperous New Year.  Hope you enjoy the newsletter.

There are quite a few photos in the Germnay report this time so if you are on a dial up connection please be patient while it loads. I can assure you it will be worth the wait.

Thanks John and Sandra Green.

Christmas opening hours.

The following will be our opening hours over the Christmas break.

Friday           16th December    Closed from 4pm onwards for staff Christmas party.
Friday           23rd December    Closed from approximately 2pm
Saturday       24th December    Closed
Sunday         25th December    Closed
Monday        26th December    Closed
Tuesday        27th December    Closed
Wednesday   28th December    Open 8am - 5pm Limited staff
Thursday      29th December    Open 8am - 5pm Limited staff
Friday           30th December    Open 8am - 5pm Limited staff
Saturday       31st December     Closed
Sunday         1st  January         Closed
Monday        2nd January         Closed
Tuesday        3rd January         Open 7.45am - 5.15pm Full staff

Please note that whilst we are normally open some Saturday mornings during the year it is always advisable to ring before calling in on a Saturday.

Germany tour part 4...

At the end of part three I failed to report that our Chrysler 300c had developed a terrible noise in the A/C compressor and we were forced to pay a call into the local Europcar office. The lady behind the counter spoke very little English but did her best to help us. She was most concerned that the only car she could offer us in return for the Chrysler was a S class Mercedes-Benz!  Martin and I could not get the keys and get out of there quick enough.....

Next stop was the Mercedes-Benz classic Centre in Fellbach (an outer suburb of Stuttgart) where we were treated to a full guided tour of these facilities and of the storage sheds out the back.  When we pulled up out the front, to our surprise was a brand new (and not yet released at that stage) S class.  Stenciled on the back was "Werkswagen".  It was apparently one of many that had been handed out to Mercedes-Benz staff to be pounded around the streets of Stuttgart as test cars. Later that day we saw another current S class but this one still had its disguise suit on.

The Classic Centre has got to be the Mecca for any Mercedes-Benz nut. The workshops and the storage sheds behind it hold some of the greatest and most famous cars that we know. The list of cars that I could tell you about is just too long to believe so I will just concentrate on some of the more special cars.

First of all in their workshop was:

- A W125 race car with all its alloy body stripped off being prepared to be sent out to a historic race meeting.
- One of the ill fated 1999 Le-mans cars (remember the airborne incident) also being prepared for a day on the track.
- Replica 300SE Finnie rally car, just been finished off for a client
- A 600 Pullman that had just finished being restored and was awaiting its owner to collect it.
- A bullet proof W150 770 sedan that belongs to the Spanish royal family (one owner from new, low mileage!) This car was very interesting in that it was in totally original condition and was booked into the Classic centre to be preserved rather than restored.

- A 600 Hearse having the cylinder heads overhauled.

- A fully restored Maybach Zeppelin (now part of the DaimlerChrysler family)
-  A W108 250SE with 17000kms on the clock.
- Various 500SSK's, Gullwing's and other assorted cars.

Needless to say the workshop is spotlessly clean and organised with perfect German precision.  Next we moved onto the storage sheds that are behind the workshop.  These are a short walk away.  On the way there we passed the Mclaren Formula One office.  Their company run-about cars are all parked out the front.  They were three perfectly clean black G55's!!

- First car in the shed was the famous 300d test wagon, click here to see a shot of this car in action in the 70's.

- The first Maybach off the production line.
- Andrew Cohen's 1977 London to Sydney Rally winning 280E.  Mercedes-Benz scored a sensational double victory: driving near-standard 280 E sedans (both W123's), the teams of Cowan/Malkin/Broad and Fowkes/ O’Gorman finished in first and second place, respectively, in the overall ranking after six-and-a-half weeks and some 30,000 kilometers through Europe, South Asia and Australia.  Just as a matter of interest, I have one of the pairs of back up headlamps that were left in Australia after the rally.

- More Indy and F1 cars than you could imagine (at least 20)
-  The number one 300SL prototype! This is a car that Mercedes-Benz have only just managed to buy back from a private collection. It is very interesting in that it only has 1/2 length Gullwing doors. (and you thought the production models were hard to get in and out of)

- The 1952 W196 with the air brake, click here for some info on this car.
-  Four C111 coupes, each with a different engine configuration. This includes the rare 4 rotor Wankel engine. We had a look under the engine cover on this to find that it used Mechanical injection like the old M130 engines from a 280SE/SL and a distributor from a M116 3.5 engine with only four plug leads connected to it!

- The famous Rennwagon Transporter replica from the 50's. Click here for info..

-  Some of the 450SLC rally cars that won the Tour of Britain in 1976, the 18,000-mile Argentine rally, and came second in the East African Safari Rally with veteran Hannu Mikkola. Another fleet of 450SLC 5.0s finished 1-2-3-4 in the 3,500-mile Bandama rally in December, 1979. These were the first V8, automatic-transmission cars ever to win an FIA rally.
-  A plastic Gullwing (don't ask I don't know)

- One of the two 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes. Built by Rudolf Uhlenhaut (1906-1989), head of both passenger-car testing and race-car development at Mercedes-Benz in the 50's, as a road version of the formidable 300SLR. The 300SLR coupe incorporated the design of the 300SL Gullwing with the technology of the 300SLR race car. Its long hood was complemented by side-mounted exhaust pipes, dramatic air vents and wire-spoke wheels. The cockpit, with its wraparound windshield, was elegantly sculptured. Uhlenhaut referred to his latest automotive work of art as a “hot-heeled touring car,” and the 300SLR coupe lived up to its billing. Weighing only 2,457 pounds, yet developing 310 horsepower, the “Uhlenhaut Coupe” reached 180 miles per hour during testing, making the two-seater the fastest car of its time to be registered on public roads. However, the lightning-fast SLR coupe never made it into series production. The Stuttgart-based car maker felt that the mid-1950s was not the right time to bring out such a powerful sports car. As Mercedes pulled out of motorsport in 1955, the SLR coupe project was put on ice. Only two prototypes of this masterpiece of power and elegance were ever built.
- The ML320 used in Jurassic park  the movie. Click here for some screen shots. Jurassic Park was made in 1997 and those that know their ML's will know that they were not released until 1998. The two cars used in the film were pre production specials rushed through for the film. The car that is stored at the Classic Centre does not have a chassis number!

- The Blitzen Benz  that had just come back from the Goodward festival of speed. Made in 1909 by Benz & Cie it was a record-breaking car which has sealed its place in automotive folklore as one of the most inspirational models ever made. Powered by a quite awe-inspiring 21.5-liter 200-horsepower engine, the “Blitzen-Benz” reduced the then mythical 200 km/h landmark to a footnote in history. No other road-going vehicle of the era could compete, whilst the world’s fastest trains and even the aircraft of the time were left gasping in its wake.
- 722 the famous 300SLR driven by Sterling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia. Moss and his co driver/navigator Denis Jenkins. The pair won the race in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, a time that was never beaten. There average speed was 97.96miles per hour! Their record breaking run was attributed to Jenkins method of pace noting the course which he and Moss did in the preceding weeks driving a 220a. The bonnet of the car has Sterling Moss's signature on it.

Another short walk down the road brought us to another nondescript shed full of Mercedes-Benz history. 

- The last 280CE that was ever made. For those of you who read the Mercedes Enthusiast magazine you will have seen an article on this a few months ago.
- The W115 240D that a Greek taxi driver, Gregorios Sachinides, presented to the museum with 4.6 million kilometres on the clock.
- The Maybach clay model, which was interesting having seen the first production model an hour before.
- An ultra low mileage 450SEL 6.9.
- A 170Va delivery van, year unknown, but very interesting as for the first few years of production after WW2 Mercedes-Benz were only allowed to produce vehicles for commercial and Government use. This no doubt is one of them.

- Heaps of various pre war models including a 130H. This is a rear engined car and has some links to the Dr Ferdinand Porsche designed VW Beetle.
- A 220Sb Finnie charity bash car from Australia, complete with Bull bar and plastic cow on the roof!

- Lady Diana's R129 500SL, which has only done delivery miles. The story goes that she brought it and was told off by the Royals. Apparently she was only supposed to drive "English" cars!
- A series one Unimog.

- A pre war light truck with the Charcoal fired gas producer still in place.
- Helmet Kohl's W140 sedan.
- The last W124 every made, which incidentally is a E300 Turbo sedan.
- 7 replica's of the Benz patent  motorcar.

- Heaps of W111 coupes and cabriolets
- A couple of 300SEL 6.3's and just so much more.

Another short walk brought us to a privately owned workshop that does subcontract work for the Classic centre and their own customers. It too was filled with all sorts of interested cars.

- A super low mileage and mint condition 220Sb
- A 220SE Roundie/Ponton Coupe with the very rare headrest option
- A W153 230 body from the early 40's, it was in excellent original condition which is rather amazing given that very few of these survived the war.

- A W111 220SE cabriolet being prepared for a Classic Car rally
- And so, and so on, and so on..................what a day.

As you can see Mercedes-Benz are very good at keeping their history alive. Since the 50's they have kept every significant race car that they have been associated with. Nearly all of these cars are able to be driven and are used regularly for display days and historic race meets. Also many of them will be put on display in the new museum when it opens in 2006. They also keep (in a different location) the first and last of every model made.

Next newsletter I will detail some of the business aspects of the Classic centre and discuss our visit to Kienle.

Joke of the month.

These are from a book called Disorder in the Courts of America, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm  while these exchanges were actually taking place.


ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.


ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.


ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks


ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?


ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget.

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you



ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.


ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that


WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan.


ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in


WITNESS: We both do.




WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.


ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his

sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?


ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.


ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Would you repeat the question?


ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?


ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?



ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?


ATTORNEY: How many were boys?


ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death.

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?


ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a

deposition  notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.


ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on

dead people?

WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.


ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go




ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

W ITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an

autopsy on him!


ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?



ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for

a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you

began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and

practicing law somewhere

What the?

Remember we used to have a "What the" question in the newsletters? Well it was suggested that I should start it up again. So here goes. First person to correctly tell me by e-mail what the car in this link is all about will be immortalised in the next newsletter.

New G-wagon coming soon.

Some time ago it was reported that the replacement for the aging Glanderwagon will be a unitised body (no separate chassis), well here is the latest details hot off the press from DaimlerChrysler. It would appear that the old G-wagon will live on but a flash new model called the GL will bridge the gap between a ML and G.

Before you read the press release here are some spy photos and here are some official pictures.

Mercedes-Benz is to unveil a new highlight in the luxury Sport Utility Vehicle market segment: the GL-Class. The seven-seater premium off-roader offers excellent handling both on and off-road and pampers occupants with its extremely spacious accommodation and the comfort of a luxury saloon. The GL-Class sets another milestone with PRE-SAFE®, the comprehensive safety concept, a first in this market segment.

With its poised, assured presence, the GL-Class leaves you in no doubt about its aspirations to conquer this competitive market segment. The distinctive design idiom exudes power and exclusivity. Calm body surfaces, powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details give the impression the luxury off-roader is surging forward even when stationary. The spacious body (length 5088 mm, width 1920 mm, height 1840 mm) is beautifully proportioned.

Mercedes-Benz is to unveil a new highlight in the luxury Sport Utility Vehicle market segment: the GL-Class. The seven-seater premium off-roader offers excellent handling both on and off-road and pampers occupants with its extremely spacious accommodation and the comfort of a luxury saloon. The GL-Class sets another milestone with PRE-SAFE®, the comprehensive safety concept, a first in this market segment.

With its poised, assured presence, the GL-Class leaves you in no doubt about its aspirations to conquer this competitive market segment. The distinctive design idiom exudes power and exclusivity. Calm body surfaces, powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details give the impression the luxury off-roader is surging forward even when stationary. The spacious body (length 5088 mm, width 1920 mm, height 1840 mm) is beautifully proportioned.

Superlative comfort whatever the conditions

The welcoming interior with its top-quality materials provides passengers with that feel-good atmosphere as only Mercedes knows how, with more than ample space for up to seven passengers. The GL-Class offers superb comfort on board - whether you’re just popping into town, cruising hundreds of kilometres or negotiating rough terrain. Occupants still enjoy good freedom of movement even on the two full-sized individual seats in the third row of seats. The distance to the middle row of seats is 815 mm, with 979 mm headroom for passengers. If you need fewer seats, the rear individual seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either individually or in tandem to provide a completely flat load surface. In the five-seater version, luggage compartment capacity is 1240 litres – an impressive benchmark value in the class. The GL-Class can provide up to 2300 litres of load capacity, with the load compartment measuring 2128 mm in length. In line with the wide range of applications handled by the versatile all-rounder, the THERMATIC automatic climate control system fitted as standard in the GL 320 CDI provides consistent temperature for all seven seats both in the depths of winter and on those sweltering summer days. The versions with V8 engines such as the GL 420 CDI, GL 450 and GL 500 come with the standard-fit multi-zone THERMOTRONIC system, which offers even more climatic comfort. Other standard-fit convenience and comfort appointments include ARTICO man-made leather upholstery combinations, electrically adjustable front seats and a fixed rear glass roof above the third row of seats.

Intelligent solutions promote excellent safety

The GL-Class makes full use of the advantages of its unitised body, combining optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design. The result is excellent passive safety that is far superior to comparable models with a ladder-type frame. Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms an efficient base for the occupant protection systems that include:

  • Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger
  • Sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats as an option
  • Windowbags across all three rows of seats from the A to the D-pillar
  • NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger as an option
  • 3-point seat belts on all seven seats
  • Seat-belt tensioners and adaptive belt-force limiters for the driver and front passenger, seat-belt tensioners and single-stage belt-force limiters on the outer seats in the middle row

With the optionally available PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system, a world first in this market segment, Mercedes-Benz has raised safety to an even higher level. The system's most striking feature: passive and active safety systems are networked with each other. PRE-SAFE® utilises the sensors in the dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, BAS (Brake Assist) and ESP® and optimises the protective function of the passive safety components in potential accident situations. The GL-Class also takes the often neglected issue of pedestrian protection to a new level. The front section includes precisely defined ample crumple space between the body and the major assemblies underneath. In conjunction with impact zones that are designed to yield, this design provides a high degree of protection both for pedestrians and cyclists.
The GL-Class meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV, or even redefines them on a higher level. Yet the hallmark Mercedes off-roader genes such as superlative robustness, ruggedness and long-term durability have not been compromised. It is not for nothing that the model designation echoes the legendary precursor of all Mercedes-Benz off-road vehicles – the G-Class. The evergreen off-roader is now entering its 26th year of production and will continue to be marketed alongside the new GL-ClassSuccess story from state-of-the-art production facilities

“Mercedes Quality – Made in America” has established itself as the company’s new trademark on the other side of the Atlantic and illustrates the success story of the DaimlerChrysler plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama. The birthplace of the GL-Class started production in 1997 as the first Mercedes-Benz plant outside Europe. Around 600 million US dollars have been invested since 2001 in expanding and constantly modernising the plant; overall the company has invested around 1 billion US dollars. Following the extension of the Tuscaloosa plant in May 2005, its theoretical annual production capacity for all model series stands at 160,000 units. The new GL-Class is now the third model series to be built here, alongside the M-Class and the R-Class.

The world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class will take place at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2006. U.S. customers will be the first to savour the delights of the new trendsetter in the spring; European customers will have to wait until September 2006 for a taste of the versatile off-roader.

The GL-Class will arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2006. Engine line-up, standard specifications and pricing for Australia will be announced closer to the vehicle’s arrival in Australia.

Links of the month.

- Want to buy a 1978 280S with only 590kms on the clock? Click here. and then click on the link that says "het annbod" and then search down the list for a 280S. The story behind it goes something like this. "Originally the car was built for export to Africa but because of a civil war it never went and stood by Mercedes until this company bought it." So the question is what African country had a civil war in the late 70's and is RHD??

- Do you order Pizza's on the phone often? Check out this link. It may take awhile to load.

- Bored? try this link, make sure to move your cursor after it loads.

- Been to Asia lately and seen some of the silly interpretation problems they seem to have? Here is a website dedicated to them.


Cars for Sale.

Cars sold since last month include two ML320's, the C200 and the E230. We have traded a very nice 300SE W126 on the E230. New cars into stock include another ML320, a 230S finnie and an excellent 1983 280TE wagon with only 117000kms on the clock.

If what you are dreaming of owning is not here then please feel free to contact me on 0419 295 458 and I will see what we can do to find you what you want.

You can check out all our cars for sale here:

New cars into stock:

280TE 1983 model only 117000kms only one owner and in amazing condition.

230S Finnie 1966 model, also a one owner vehicle. Receipts for recent mechanical work.

ML320 1998 model, 161000kms with great history.

300SE 1986 model, just traded.

Cars we have sold:

ML320 1999 model

ML320 1998 model

E230 1996 model

C200 Elegance W202 1996 model

Also in stock we have:

A160 Avantgarde 1998 model

E280 1993 model only 76000kms

300E 2.6 1991 model

250 Long Wheel Base sedan 1982 model

E280 Elegance W210 1998 model

190E 2.6 Sedan 1990 model

300TE wagon 1990 model

So that's it for another newsletter. Hope you liked what you saw. If you have any ideas or want to contribute any articles, pictures or other material please e-mail me here. Also, don't forget that you can check out the old newsletters here
Thanks, John Green.